By John A. Tirpak, Air Force Magazine

A document justifying the Air Force’s purchase of potentially $23 billion worth of F-15EX fighters from Boeing indicates the Air Force could buy even more, replacing not only the aging F-15C/D fleet but also its somewhat younger F-15E ground attack stablemate. The heavily redacted document notes that the contract for Boeing posits a “rough order of magnitude” purchase of 200 airplanes, but the “most probable quantity” would be 144 fighters. However, it also notes that while the program is “initially” intended to refresh the aging F-15C/D, a decision to similarly replace the F-15E Strike Eagle fleet with the EX “has not been made, but remains an option.”